Mission Capable Books

Bottom Line Up Front: These are the recommended books that I have found most valuable for becoming mission capable.


Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard: A book that I have referred to almost daily for years, this book gets to the root of behavior change dynamics and how to optimize them. Their framework for understanding this complex topic is revolutionary. If you read one book from this list, let it be this one!

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: In order to be mission capable, you have to get things done. Best overall productivity book out there. Helps you develop a strategy from which you can then tweak your own system. Goes well with Evernote software and Inbox Zero technique.

The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey: A great quick read focused on how to think about tasks as monkeys.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: Life-changing book that focuses effort toward what really matters in all things. Read my book review here.

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series): Excellent book that gets into all areas of fitness. Total lifestyle transformation material here. His site, Mark’s Daily Apple, is one of my go-to resources for information every day. The book sets the stage for the big muscle movements. The site gets into greater detail and explores some very specific things. With the foundation of the knowledge in the book,the site is more powerful.

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet: One of the original books to start the Paleo movement. Robb Wolf is a hero and his work continues to this day. He puts out a ton of free material on his site in addition.

Why We Get Fat: Gary Taubes lays out some foundations for understanding why we got to where we are today with regard to the obesity epidemic in the western world.

Freakonomics Series: These books make you think and let the seemingly unexplainable become clear.  Books 1, 2, and 3 are top notch.

Malcolm Gladwell Series: Much like Freakonomics, Gladwell looks are situations with a unique perspective. Takes an economist’s look at a social problem and always comes out with a surprising conclusion. Blink, Tipping Point, Outliers, and David & Goliath are all excellent. The order in which you read them doesn’t matter.


QUESTION: Do you have any books you read that are foundational to your life? Post thoughts to comments.


  1. I recommend “The Mission, The Men, And Me; Lessons from a former Delta Force Commander.” A good primer (interpret that as “quick read”) on determining what’s really important in any given problem set.

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